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My Mardi Gras Experience by Iona Hain

5 June 2023

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For years I was a Mardi Gras spectator in awe of the sparkles, rainbows and everyone in the Parade being themselves. I spent years wishing I was in the Parade. This year, I too became a sparkly, rainbow covered human. I will remember for the rest of my life.

As a recently diagnosed Autistic/Neurospicy (Neurodivergent) Queer, Non-binary person being a part of Aspect’s autism float was incredible. Support from Aspect and the Mardi Gras crew allowed me to feel safe and able to unmask. The thrill of stepping out onto Oxford Street with my fellow neuro spicy humans was out of this world, I felt seen, heard and surrounded by love.

I met the Aspect Team meeting before the Parade and they gave us an overview of what to expect and answered any questions. This Neurospicy human felt it helped me to socialise with my fellow participants and clarified potential concerns/anxieties and I felt calm and heard.

Initially I was very anxious to be around that many people but I left so ready and excited to be a part of the huge Parade. We met everyone again before the Parade in a quiet space in the waiting area away from everyone which helped me and others with anxiety.

For years I was a Mardi Gras spectator in awe of the sparkles, rainbows and everyone in the Parade being themselves. I spent years wishing I was in the Parade. This year, I too became a sparkly, rainbow covered human. I will remember for the rest of my life.

As a recently diagnosed Autistic/Neurospicy (Neurodivergent) Queer, Non-binary person being a part of Aspect’s autism float was incredible. Support from Aspect and the Mardi Gras crew allowed me to feel safe and able to unmask. The thrill of stepping out onto Oxford Street with my fellow neuro spicy humans was out of this world, I felt seen, heard and surrounded by love.

I met the Aspect Team meeting before the Parade and they gave us an overview of what to expect and answered any questions. This Neurospicy human felt it helped me to socialise with my fellow participants and clarified potential concerns/anxieties and I felt calm and heard.

Initially I was very anxious to be around that many people but I left so ready and excited to be a part of the huge Parade. We met everyone again before the Parade in a quiet space in the waiting area away from everyone which helped me and others with anxiety.

Now it was our turn, adrenaline was pumping, I was anxious, excited, scared and happy all in one. As we stepped out the crowd roared, they smiled clapped and saw us. I felt so loved, seen and happy. We walked together as neuro spicy queer humans of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

It was an honour being in the Parade being able to unmask, openly happy stim and being a part of history. Feeling like an important part of the amazing and ever-growing representation of Queer Neurospicy folk was like a dream.

This year was the first year that Sydney Hosted WORLD PRIDE, being a part of that was an incredible experience and opportunity for which I will be for ever grateful.

See a video of the experience below

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